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History and Purpose

Home / History and Purpose

Did you know the Federal Credit Union Act, the law that allows the establishment of all federal credit unions, has direct connections to WoodmenLife?

In the early 1930’s, home office employees of Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society informally pooled their resources to help their fellow employees with their financial needs.  This ‘cooperative’ effort spread under the leadership of Morris Sheppard, then Treasurer for Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society and a United States Senator from Texas.

Senator Sheppard not only wrote the bill, the Federal Credit Union Act, but he also championed it to unanimous consent in the United States Senate.  Upon the signing of the Federal Credit Union Act into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934, Senator Sheppard immediately chartered two federal credit unions.  The very first federal charter was issued to the Morris Sheppard Texarkana Federal Credit Union in Senator Sheppard’s home town and charter #16 was issued to the Morris Sheppard W. O. W. Federal Credit Union.

Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society

In 1990, the charter was amended to include all, what was then, Woodmen Tower and the adjoining World Building business tenants, their employees, and their relatives.  The name was changed to Woodmen Federal Credit Union as it is known today.

The Credit Union continues to uphold the principles with which it was founded, members helping members.  We are a non-profit cooperative organization, owned by and for our members.  Woodmen Federal Credit Union is proud of our history and our connection with WoodmenLife.  Their sponsorship and unquantifiable support are truly appreciated.

Please visit WoodmenLife at www.Woodmen.org. and Woodmen Federal Credit Union at www.WoodmenFCU.org.

Pictured at right is the former Woodmen of the World building (1323 Farnam St), built in 1912. The building was the headquarters of Woodmen of the World from 1912 until 1934.  The building was demolished in 1977.  Hover over the image of the original Woodmen of the World building (pictured) to see the WoodmenLife Tower now.  The Woodmen Tower was completed in 1969, rises 30 stories over Omaha at 1700 Farnam Street.

June, 2020 (from Lincoln Star Herald)
The name atop downtown Omaha’s Woodmen Tower is changing.

Over the next 10 weeks, WoodmenLife said in a press release, crews will swap out the iconic “Woodmen” lettering that has been there for 51 years. It will be changed to “WoodmenLife.”

This multimillion dollar project started Monday and will take place in stages, WoodmenLife said. Omaha Neon Sign Co. workers will remove existing lettering in pieces, clean and patch the marble and install new brackets, electrical wiring and letters. The metal letters — which will appear black during the day and white at night — will be smaller to make room for more of them, but they also will be visible from farther away because of a new LED system that shines light through tiny holes in the film on the letters.

The tower, which was completed in 1969, is 478 feet high. It stood as the tallest building in Omaha for more than 30 years. The First National Bank Tower, which opened in 2002, is the tallest building in Omaha.

Installers likely will work through August to change the Woodmen sign.

Throughout the project, WoodmenLife will post time-lapse video and drone footage of the work at Newsroom.WoodmenLife.org.

WoodmenLife said the project was scheduled to give falcons that nest on the tower time to hatch their four eggs and let the birds learn how to hunt.